Making Choices: The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” the narrator in conflicted by which road that he wants to take. The poem is a very simple poem but the metaphor for the road being a choice in his life is not very simple. The road that he chooses to take is the road that determines his path in life. In the poem he is walking on an actual road but it is also a figurative road. He is faced with a decision, to take one road or to take the other road. One of the roads is less traveled than the other road which may be why the decision is so hard. The setting in the poem is in the forest. “The Road Not Taken” uses actual and figurative roads, devices and tones for the reader to understand the meaning of the poem.
In “The Road Not Taken,” the speaker is talking about an actual road and a figurative road. The setting plays a significant role in the poem. It is in the forest. It is fall in the poem because he mentions that there is yellow wood and grass is all over the ground. The actual road is the road that can be walked and driven on and the figurative road is the road of life. In the first line of the poem he was faced with a fork in the road. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler.” He could only travel on one road and in choosing this road he was unable to take the other one too. In lines 18- 20 he says “, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” The actual road was the one that he was walking upon but the figurative road was his life and how in his choosing to take one and not the other that determined his path in life. The title of this poem is significant because there are many times in life there are choices people have to make, but the road not taken is the choice that makes all the difference.
The narrator of the poem is unclear and he seems to be indecisive in the road he wants to take. There is no description of the narrator and it is unclear how he looks. Since that narrator speaks in first person, it may be that author that is speaking. The narrator is very certain that he can only choose one road to take. He is indecisive because he knows that choice will eventually change something in his life. He first looks down the roads to see how far he can see it. In lines four and five he says “And looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.” Then he chooses to take the other road, line six “Then took the other, as just a fair.” He then chooses the road that he says has a better claim, “and having a better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear.” He chooses to take the road that is less traveled. The choice in which road to make is not an easy choice because once he chooses one he cannot take the other road. He is filled with regret because he will not return to take the other path.
Some of the devices and tones in the poem “The Road Not Taken” are rhyme and melancholy. Rhyme is “two or more words that contain an identical or similar vowel sound, usually accented, with following consonant sounds, identical as well” (Kennedy, Gioia, 2013, p.1491).The rhyme pattern of the poem is “abaab”. One example of rhyme